I have zero experience playing any musical instrument. I received roli searboard as a gift . How should I go about learning to play this "new type of instrument" . I can of course turn pitch bend sensitivity all the way down and turn into an equivalent of a cheap midi piano keyboard and follow piano tutorials.

But that sounds wrong. wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

Edit: i have seaboard rise 25 which has 2 octaves


Any musical background you pick up can't hurt. Call around to piano teachers and explain your situation; someone will probably be willing to help. Or if you see a local keyboard player you like, ask if they'd give lessons. If there's a local community college or similar that offers some kind of introduction to music theory, that could be helpful too. I wouldn't worry too much about finding someone that specializes in synthesizers (much less Roli Seaboards); there are a lot of music fundamentals that are independent of the specific instrument. You can figure out the specifics on your own.

One way to train your fingers and your ear is by trying to pick out tunes. Any melody that you can sing, you can figure out how to play, with a lot of trial and error at first. Start with the simplest possible tunes, like nursery rhymes. See if you can play them starting on different keys.

Meanwhile, if you have music in mind that you want to make real--just go for it. There's no magic--just keeping trying until it sounds like what you want. Someone with more training might be able to get there faster, but in the end, if it sounds good, it is good.

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You should read this book it basically breaks down the how to play piano like instruments for producers. It has fun excercises etc... and shows you the technical details in what makes music work in a simple way. Click the link and read the description and look inside to see for yourself. Read the reviews. This book has helped me, I’ve tried to learn music theory before but it just went over my head. But in one night I already know how to play in three different musical modes.

Also Check out these youtubers:

Follow them as the cover the features of the roli Seaboard and talk about new updates.


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  • 1
    Hi Kai - link only answers are not useful here. Can you please include key concepts from those links here – Doktor Mayhem Dec 25 '17 at 21:42

pretty spendy present! how many octaves?

even with 5 octaves, you're going to have trouble playing full songs. you could maybe play some Bach pieces.

those things are made for synthesizer players. piano is kind of a different instrument. You ideally want at least 76 keys, preferably 88 to do all the songs. With piano, you ideally have a piano teacher who gives you the full scale dive into what you've just jumped into and leads you carefully and quickly along. Plan on doing an hour a day every day of your life. That thing is a pretty specialized instrument. A regular piano teacher probably won't be able to stand that thing and will tell you to buy at least a digital piano instead.

The alternative route, probably the one for you, is to just dink around with a synthesizer. Not playing full songs, but adding short embellishments on top of an existing song. so you'll need to pick out a good (probably software based) synthesizer and look for some synthesizer playing videos maybe. There are piano teachers everywhere, but there are NOT synthesizer teachers everywhere. They're few and far between. Hopefully you are a serious nerd like me who gets into the inner workings of things like synthesizers. Cuz it's kind of a deep topic, lots of software options to weed through. Your path forward is not straightforward.

Musical instruments require dedication and a pretty good chunk of your life. They are, however, very rewarding.

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  • thank you for your response. I have the cheapest roli with 2 octaves. I am going to spend time on learning synthesis then, i have basic knowledge but not enough to be able to compose full tracks on roli. – meowlicious Dec 22 '16 at 21:40
  • Ideally I was hoping to learn to play sitar or flute on roli but that seems like a tall order . – meowlicious Dec 22 '16 at 21:42

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